Lost in the Pasture: Examining the Message of Matthew 9:33-34

Matthew 9:33-34 (KJV)
And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.

I attended a two-week missions course in Elyria, OH many years ago. One of the assignments was to preach in a chapel service. I preached on Moses and the burning bush. It was understood that our messages would be “graded” by all in attendance. I found it interesting that all the teachers pointed out my flaws while all the other students pointed out what they had learned, how they were convicted or corrected, etc. The deaf interpreter said that I preach like an independent Baptist. I think that was a compliment! One person commented on their sheet, “I’ll never see the burning bush the same again.”

I understand that the teachers were there to help us improve, and there is no improvement unless the areas that need improvement are identified. But the contrast was so very stark. Not one of the teachers got the “message.”

Over the years of preaching at fellowship meetings, I have observed that it is very often the same. The pastors in the meeting generally walk away with an outline and likely either approve or disapprove of the messages preached.[1] On the other hand, the church members in attendance get convicted, encouraged, and blessed. 

It was no different for Jesus. After casting out the devil, the multitudes marveled while the spiritual leaders simply found fault. Indeed, the multitudes were “as sheep having no shepherd.”

We’re in the same condition when our spiritual leaders are so busy critiquing God’s messenger that they do not hear God’s message.


[1] Just a couple of years ago I heard the pastor that was supposedly leading our state’s fellowship claim that he could hear much better preaching on YouTube than he was getting at our meetings. My opinion, he was judging the quality of the preacher rather than the content of the message. If what he was saying is true, everyone ought to quit going to church and listen to the best preachers on YouTube. He had missed the point of preaching. He, by the way, is no longer a pastor.

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Lost in the Pasture: Examining the Message of Matthew 9:33-34

Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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